Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Riz Ahmed Talks 'Rogue One', Defends 'Star Wars' Prequels

By: Dominic Jones

We are now just days away from the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in theatres and there are some in the world who have already seen it.  One of those who has already seen it is the film's star Riz Ahmed.  Ahmed, who plays Bodhi Rook in the film, spoke with Screen Crush recently about the film and he also shared his thoughts on why the Star Wars prequels (The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith) are underrated.

On how he prepared to play a space pilot, Ahmed said,
Funny you say that, because I very much like to interview people before taking a role, with a dictaphone, just like what you’re doing right now. So I was a bit stumped. Then I realized there is a way in.

Bodhi Rook is a character who lives on an occupied planet, and he’s forced to collaborate with or work for the occupying forces to earn a living. There’s a lot of real world examples of that: Europe in World War II, the Middle East today. A friend of mine is making a documentary about Afghan translators working for the American army and the risks that they face for those choices, just trying to survive. There’s some of that, which is helpful.

Then I think the second thing that was helpful — more than helpful — they really build a world around you. There really isn’t very much green screen; not nearly as much as you’d think. The fact that you really have U-wings, alien creatures, and droids walking around means that yes, preparation in your head, backstory, that is part of it. But part of it is kind of surrendering to the world that they have really built around you; letting that in and letting the gravitational force of all of those different things slip you into your own orbit. The gravity of those things is immense. It was interesting in that sense that I can be a homework geek. I love that side of my job, researching different lives, and meeting different people. This was slightly different.

When asked about Star Wars not having the best track record with prequels, Ahmed said,
People say that, but I did not have a massive problem with the prequels at all. There were some elements that stood out. Jar Jar Binks, I didn’t enjoy him as a character. But people had a problem with them because they weren’t broad and tough and cheek. I enjoy that. I enjoy the fact that it was about grown-up politics and the dissolution of the League of Nations and World War and the rise of fascism. I really enjoyed that and I really enjoyed Clone Wars. I really don’t see what the big problem is, to be quite honest.

He then added,
If all Star Wars movies were the same, it’d be boring. I hope each new movie adds a new dimension, and I think that’s certainly what Rogue One does.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on December 16th.

Follow The Star Wars Underworld on Twitter @TheSWU for more updates about this story and other breaking Star Wars news.


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